Pastor’s Corner -August 12, 2018

 Last week it was announced that our Holy Father Pope Francis amended an article in the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding capital punishment.  Where it was formerly stated that capital punishment (i.e. the execution of criminals) was acceptable in certain extreme cases, now it is forbidden under any circumstance because it is an attack on human dignity.  It is the Holy Father’s intention, then, to lead the church in working to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
This amendment is perfectly consistent with the Church’s teaching on the value of each and every human life from conception to natural death.  Even those who commit savage crimes are still human beings.  We may deplore what they’ve done; and we have every right to protect ourselves and others by incarcerating, for life if necessary, those who commit such crimes. 
But doesn’t killing a killer make us just as guilty as the executed?  Since when have 2 wrongs equaled a right?  And if anyone thinks God approves of capital punishment, I strongly encourage a re-reading of and reflection on the story of Cain and Able in Genesis Chapter 4 (particularly verses 14-15).
According to Amnesty International, most of the countries around the world, including nearly every nation in Europe and Latin America, have already banned the death penalty, as have many states in our own country.  Hopefully those who haven’t soon will.  After all, isn’t that part of what it means to be “pro-life?”
In His Love,
Fr. Mike

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